London property costs spell double trouble for first-time buyers

 
London property costs spell double trouble for first-time buyers (iStock)

First-time buyers seeking to get on the housing ladder in London have to pay twice as much as they would in the rest of the country, new data from Lloyds Bank has revealed. 

The typical home bought by a first-time buyer in the capital now costs £420,132, compared with £210,515 in the rest of the country. The London price represents a two-thirds increase on the average price of five years ago. 

Deposits have risen by almost as much, with the typical first-time buyer in London now needing to find £92,833 - 62 per cent more than in 2013. 

It is not just first-time buyers who are suffering, as outer London boroughs have seen a 47 per cent rise in prices for all buyers over the past five years. 

However, it is in the suburbs that getting on the ladder appears hardest. Across London as a whole the average first-time buyers age is 34 years old, compared with the national average of 31. One inner London borough - Tower Hamlets - actually beats the national average as the typical first-time buyer there is 30. By contrast, the figure rises to 39 years old in the outer boroughs of Barnet, Harrow and Sutton.

Lloyds Bank mortgage products director Andrew Mason said: "Despite the recent slowdown in London house prices, this latest data shows how expensive it has become to live in the capital, particularly for young people trying to get on the ladder for the first time. 

"As a result, first-time buyers have to wait until they are 34 before getting their first foot on the property ladder."

He added that the price gap between inner and outer London is "closing", with the rise in house prices all over the metropolis over the last five years easily exceeding the 20 per cent average increase seen in the rest of England and Wales.

While many people in London will have to rent for longer before buying, this is also much costlier than elsewhere. 

According to the latest Landbay Rental Index, published in April, the typical monthly rent in London is £1,879, or 89 per cent of average take-home pay, compared with £761 (52 per cent of net income) in the rest of Britain.